A son that sleeps in harvest is a son that causes shame.Proverbs 10:5
We have a responsibility in this life to sow seed, to be generous in all aspects of living, in giving, forgiveness, in kindness and in love. Jesus said:
Freely you have received, freely give.Matthew 10:8
How are you investing in Gods Kingdom? In Genesis 8:22 we read about the principle of seedtime and harvest time. If you sow nothing and God multiplies it by 100, you receive nothing; you can only reap a harvest if you sow. The ground can only give to you what you give to the ground, and a rejected opportunity to give to a lost opportunity to receive.
My generosity in life will confirm the quality of my spiritual encounter with God. God is a giving God, a generous God…we live in barrenness when we fail to give.
He who keeps his life shall lose it, but he who gives for My sake shall find it.Matthew 16:25
Sometimes we play religion because we fail to take the words of Jesus seriously.
It is clear from reading Luke 6:38 and Proverbs 11:24-25 that you cannot expect a harvest if you keep your seed in the barn. Poverty is more than not having, it is a spirit that is fearful of not having enough. We need to break out of barrenness and release the seed from our barns (through giving, forgiving, kindness etc). If only all our churches in the UK were like the church in Macedonia!
Paul was involved in collecting for the congregation at Jerusalem who were suffering in famine. As he made his way through Europe, specifically the region of Macedonia, he announced the needs of fellow Christians in Jerusalem. Macedonia was already a depressed area of no great wealth and they were afflicted for the gospel. One thing they wanted to do, and they pleaded with Paul, was to give. The church in Macedonia became an example to other churches how to excel in giving. Paul wrote to the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 8:1-5) because as they promised a gift towards the famine, he was fearful that they would not fulfil their promise.
- God’s grace at work (v1). They put God first – in their poverty they still were generous
- “…in severe test of affliction” (v2). This is the key that unlocks the treasure chest of generosity – there was no denying their pain and the hard times they were going through, yet there was the abundance of joy.
- “…their extreme poverty” (v2). Their encounter with God’s grace brought affliction, and it had not removed their poverty. Instead it had made poor people radically generous people. They did not complain or grumble, but they gave willingly.
- They gave beyond their means (v3).
- Their giving was passionate (v4). They understood the principle that it is more blessed to give than to receive.
- Their giving was not impersonal (v5).
How could they act with such generosity? Because they had come to understand God’s gift to them. They treasured Christ more than anything, more than wealth and more than money. Yet despite their affliction and poverty, their joy was Christ – He was their satisfaction. Is Christ first in your life? Is His Kingdom first in your life?
This church gave beyond measure because Christ was the treasure of their hearts, Christ was their model in giving. Two thousand years ago, Jesus sowed a seed on the cross and today He is reaping a harvest of bringing you and I to glory.
Seek first the Kingdom of God and all these shall be added to you.Matthew 6:33
Kingdom attitude to not to keep life for yourself, but to share it; not to hoard, but to release blessing on others.
Put God first. When creating a budget, don’t have your tithe or offering at the end. Make your tithe your first fruit – the first thing on the top of your budget.
When we look in 1 Kings 17:12 at the widow facing death in a time of famine, we see that she put God first. Every morning she would scrap the bottom of the barrel, yet each day she found enough in the barrel to meet the needs of that day. It seemed as though each day starvation looked her in the face, yet each day by faith she looked into the face of God. The result was that her house ‘did eat many days’.
May we release seed from our barns, and glorify God whom we love and serve!